When you are fired for discriminatory reasons, you may want to go Hellfire and Brimstone. You may want to sue your ex-employer for every dollar they have, plus one dollar more. You want justice, and discrimination-based wrongful termination justifies that righteous anger. However, there are pros and cons to initiating full litigation.
Timelines of wrongful termination claims
Your first step in a wrongful termination case is likely the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Their investigation will likely take a few months to complete, and then, once it is completed, you will have the opportunity to either prosecute your case with the EEOC or with the district court. Once those cases are done, you will then have the opportunity to appeal (as will your employer) and then, that decision can be appealed as well. In addition, depending on the case, there could be several rounds of appeals and more appeals, even up to the Supreme Court. What does all this mean? For you, it means time, and for your ex-San Diego, California, employer, it means bad publicity and litigation costs.
Is there a quicker way?
Yes. It is called EEOC Mediation. It is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, wherein the parties work together, with a neutral, third-party to find a solution.
The EEOC Mediation process
The EEOC Mediation process is conducted by an EEOC-trained neutral, third-party mediator, whose job it is to find a mutually agreeable solution to the discrimination incident. It is usually done at the beginning of the EEOC discrimination claims process before either side becomes too entrenched to work together. It allows the victim of the discrimination to work with their attorney to figure out what justice looks like to them, and it allows the employer to avoid a scandal and a large litigation bill.
Is it mandatory?
No. The EEOC Mediation process is a voluntary process that must be agreed to by both parties. If either party declines, it is skipped.
Is it a good idea?
Maybe. Not all San Diego, California, cases are right for mediation, so consult your attorney. However, since most mediations only take a few hours or a few days, it is usually, okay to at least try to find a solution upfront. Plus, most federal judges and EEOC administrative law judges require both parties to attempt mediation prior to proceeding with the case anyway. And, with an over 70% success rate, you may just find you can get the justice you want without having to wait years.